The bottle stands behind Starbucks,
a paper sack crushed to its shape,
its morning shadow cast on soiled asphalt.
It's by a trash bin, next to
shopping carts from different stores
and a padlocked back door,
and someone has taken care
to leave it upright with its cap on--
a prayer, perhaps, that it would refill.
I have lately seen a man near here
on a bus bench in the mornings: rags, mange,
hysterical smile, conversations with the unseen.
Well-dressed women in outlandishly large vehicles
drive over curbs with latte.
© 2002 Mark Giffin